People leave bosses. Most of the time. Even when they are motivated by money or progress, the lack of a good boss who cares about them is a major factor behind their leaving.

On the other hand great bosses have low attrition and despite attractive external opportunities many times the top talent will stay.

So how can you boost retention. Simple – Weed out the bad bosses.

How can you do that ?

  1. Rate all bosses on Leadership Skills – Run simple surveys for each leader in the organisation. Ask their teams to rate the leadership skills, team motivation and overall engagement. The bottom 20% bosses are your problem areas. These will fall into 2 groups
  1. Weak Performance and Weak Leadership – Those who are performing weakly and also leading badly need urgent surgery. You can remove them from the organisation or put them into a coaching module to help them grow as leaders and perform / lead better
  1. Strong Individual Performance but Weak Leadership – In this case you can reduce the size of their teams and turn them into individual contributors. They do not need to lead or manage others if they are incapable of doing so

Key metric to use – what % of your organisation has weak leadership. Say it is 20% based on the survey. How do you make this 0% over the next 12 months. Retrain, re deploy or turn them into individual contributors.

Reduce the impact of bad bosses on your organisation. You will achieve 5 immediate benefits

  1. Lift in retention of your best people
  2. Improvement in corporate culture
  3. Make the teams feel heard 
  4. Enforce that both what and how matter in the success metrics
  5. Build a culture that values true leadership

Vital and critical to do this exercise every year.

Weed out bad bosses. Some deserve to be weeded out and others planted in a separate field where they can flourish better.

This is the most important retention action you can take.

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